DARPA Picks 8 Participants for 5th ‘OFFSET’ Autonomous Swarm Tactics Exercise

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has selected eight industry and academic entities for the fifth OFFensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics tech sprint focused on conducting human-machine teaming activities in urban environments.

The OFFSET program aims to deploy a maximum of 250 autonomous technologies and is divided into the “physical testbed” and “swarm tactics” thrust areas, DARPA said Monday.

In September, DARPA issued a presolicitation notice for the fifth OFFSET exercise which seeks to develop and assess technologies suited for tight spaces and limited sight lines prevalent in urban settings.

Physical testbed activities cover hardware modifications and the integration of capabilities such as sensors, navigation systems, aerodynamic elements and mobility features.

Participants under this category include Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Michigan Technological University, HDT Expeditionary Systems, Sentien Robotics and Texas A&M University.

Swarm tactics participants will work to design and implement concepts for enacting combat strategies in dense urban terrain.

Awardees for the second category include Charles River Analytics, Soar Technology and Northwestern University. Michigan Tech will additionally perform work under this thrust area.

Participants in both categories will perform field tests in December.

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